The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Overproofed, underproofed, or bad shaping?

aviwolf's picture
aviwolf

Overproofed, underproofed, or bad shaping?

I was confident that this batch of loaves were going to turn out alright. The poke test worked, the dough was jiggly, and felt good all around but after baking in a dutch oven (485 degrees/20 minutes with cover, 450 degrees/20 minutes without cover) they've turn out flat and not sure what's going on. Any ideas what could be happening?

Here's what I did:

Tuesday night:
- Refreshed starter at 11pm

Wednesday morning:
- 10 hours later, autolysed dough
- 12 hours after, starter more than doubled and mixed in with dough and salt. Pinched in for 5 minutes.
- Started bulk around 2:45pm
- Folded 4 times and let dough sit until bulk ended at 6:45pm
- Pre-shaped and left on counter for 30 minutes
- Shaped and let sit on counter covered for about an hour and then put in fridge

Thursday:
- After 16 hours, baked loaves straight from fridge:
480 degrees - 20 minutes covered
450 degrees - 20 minutes uncovered 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I’d guess over-fermented, but your first image is a bit of a shocker. It is flat, BUT it produced an ear. That seems to contradict. Ears require oven spring and oven spring needs expanding gas. Grossly over-fermented dough has exhausted all of it’s gas. Please post images of the crumb, especially the first bread.

Your total room temp fermentation was 4 & 1/2 hours including the bench proof. Fermentation duration must be considered along with the temperature and the amount of starter used. All 3 of those variables need to be considered. Another variable would be whole grains if that was used in the mix.

I wonder if your refrigerator might be too warm for a long retard? If that is the case, your dough could over-proof during retardation.

Danny

aviwolf's picture
aviwolf

Here are pictures of the crumbs, definitely a lot of tunnels! Does this signify overfermenting?

First loaf (oval):

Second loaf (round):

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Avi, your crumb is text book under-fermented. But I wonder if your starter is not the culprit.

How much levain and what would you estimate the temp?

Hopefully others will chime in with a more definitive answer. I’ll be watching in hopes of learning also.

Danny

aviwolf's picture
aviwolf

Levain was set overnight at 40g starter, 80g water and 100g flour (50g bread, 50g wheat) and I used 210g total so 21% levain.

Temp hovered around 70ish degrees and during fermentation i think it was around 76-79.

 

wheatbeat's picture
wheatbeat

Avi, Did you taste these loaves? Did they have a strong acetic acid flavor or were they pretty mild? Just based on your surface blisters, I'm going to guess they were pretty strong. That could actually give us a clue to help you troubleshoot.

Zuri

aviwolf's picture
aviwolf

Would say they're on the milder end, but it's about 85% bread flour to 8% spelt and 7% whole wheat (had a tiny bit of spelt left and wanted to use it up!)

suminandi's picture
suminandi

Avi, 

you say you fed the starter at 11 pm and then mixed the levain into the dough 12 hrs later (11am), but “started bulk” at 2:45 pm?  Bulk fermentation starts as soon as the starter hits the dough. Can you clarify what you mean?  Also, agreeing with Dan, unless the feed at 11 pm was unusually large, 12 hrs to double indicates that it is weak starter (or the room is cold). Such conditions wouldn’t  favor properly fermented dough in 4-6 hrs. 
-Sumi

aviwolf's picture
aviwolf

Just looking at my notes now:

- midnight (was an hour off!) - fed starter: 40g starter, 80g water, 100g flour (50g bread, 50g whole wheat) (~70 degrees)
- 11:45am - started autolyse
- 2:40pm - added 210g levain and 21g salt
- 2:45pm - started bulk (started counting it after i finished pinching in the levain and salt)
- 4 folds
- 6:45pm - end bulk and pre-shape 3 loaves
- 7:25pm - shape
- 8:20pm - put in fridge
- 11am (next day) - preheat oven with 2 dutch ovens
- 12pm - bake

suminandi's picture
suminandi

You didn’t mention how much dough you made, so we’re missing the inoculation. A 10% inoculation dough would need about a 6 hr bulk rise at 70F, while a 20% one would need about 4 hr. So depending on your recipe, the bulk rise was perhaps too short for the temp. 

Finally, if the starter really took the whole 14 hrs to double after feeding about 1:2.5:2, it’s not active enough. If it is active starter, it was over-mature after so long ( this is more likely, i think). Next time, give the starter a small additional feeding ( maybe 1:.5:.5) at the time you set the main dough to autolyse. By the time you are ready to mix it all, the starter will be vigorous. After mixing dough, starter and salt, put it in a clear, straight sided bowl and don’t declare bulk rise done until you see the dough gain volume ( at least 50 percent or more, up to doubling). Mark the starting height of the dough. Once you feel properly fermented dough, you will be able to tell without measuring, but measuring is a good way to build intuition. Good luck with your next loaves.